Mentor: Dr. Susan White
RNA (Ribonucleic Acid) molecules play a vital role in an organism’s protein synthesis and a common RNA structural feature is an internal loop called a kink turn (K-turn). This K-turn is thought to be an area on the RNA strand where proteins readily bind.
Below is a picture showing different K-turns in different RNA strands:
Matsumura, S. et al. Nucl. Acids Res. 2003 31:5544-5551; doi:10.1093/nar/gkg760
The aim of our experiments this summer is to synthesize at least three different K-turns RNA strands, based on the knowledge that a certain sequence of base pairs result in the K-turn. This will be done by carefully cloning and transcribing relevant DNA strands; (the relevant DNA strands being those with the bases complementary to those of the RNA strand being synthesized). To determine whether the molecules synthesized are indeed those intended, I will use gel electrophoresis and DNA sequencing techniques.